Global X, the ETF sponsor known for its unique suite of emerging and frontier markets funds, introduced the first Portugal-specific ETF today when the Global X FTSE Portugal 20 ETF (NYSEArca:PGAL) debuted.
PGAL will track the FTSE Portugal 20 Index, which “employs a transparent capping methodology. The underlying stock universe is all equities trading on NYSE Euronext Lisbon,” according to FTSE.
Global X filed plans for PGAL almost two and a half years ago. The new Portugal ETF will charge 0.61% per year. With the debut of PGAL, all of the countries in the infamous PIIGS acronym now have U.S.-listed, single-country funds. [PIIGS Pen is Complete With Debut of Portugal ETF]
“PGAL provides cost effective access to the Portuguese equity market,” said Bruno del Ama, chief executive officer of Global X Funds, in a statement. “There are a number of encouraging signs coming out of Portugal, and we believe the country is at an inflection point where the Portuguese economy is starting to find its footing.”
Portugal is expected to run a government budget surplus of approximately 3.5% in 2014 after the European Central Bank’s aid program ends and the country is expected to have positive GDP next year, according to Global X.
Global X has had some success with Europe ETFs tracking downtrodden equity markets in the past. For example, the Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (GREK) is one of the best single-country Europe ETFs this year and is closing in on $100 million in assets under management. [Run Don't Walk to Greece ETF]
The Guggenheim Timber Index ETF (CUT) is one of just a few ETFs that had decent Portugal exposure prior to PGAL’s debut. CUT has a 4.6% weight to the country.